There is so much to celebrate this time of year: family memories, delicious food, local art, and the beauty of our rivers and Bay. We invite you to celebrate the holidays with us in our part of the world! From parades, to fashion shows, to holiday markets, the River Realm is ready to welcome you to events every week this December. Get your gift list ready to check off and make plans to reconnect with nature during this holiday season.
While you’re here, indulge in a decadent meal from Eckhard’s by the fireplace or warm your spirits by the bar at Something Different Restaurant. Stay for a night or a whole week–there are lots of options for your holiday trip to Virginia’s River Realm. Escape to the always charming Hope and Glory Inn, or cozy up in the middle of town at the Chesapeake Inn.
Leave the stress behind and follow the Christmas music. Here’s our list of holiday events to you must add to your holiday getaway bucket list…
For the Shopper
RAL ART CENTER HOLIDAY SHOP
Through December 29, Daily 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
RAL Art Center / 19 North Main Street, Kilmarnock, VA 22482
Our beloved local art center will be filled with exciting gift ideas created by its talented members all month long. In addition to purchasing Christmas gifts, take this opportunity to purchase truly special and inspiring items for your home or office. Learn more.
Steamboat Era Museum Presents Fifth Annual Holiday Marketplace
November 23 – 24, December 1, 8 and 15 10 am-4 pm
Check out museum inspired items like the brass Christmas ornament of the steamer Potomac. Individual tins of white, milk and dark chocolate with labels of photos from the museum’s collection are unique stocking stuffers or hostess gifts. The “The Northern Neck” poster, depicting a sailboat and large moon, has been be applied to wood and will be offered as a sign, postcard, journal and magnet.
Once again the vintage style map of the Chesapeake Bay showing steamboat ports, based on a large map at the museum, presented on a 72” x 30” scarf will be available for sale. The soft and drapy scarf, made of 100% soft polyester voile, is easy to wear in different ways and shows the entire Bay from Baltimore to Norfolk. All the Bay towns with steamboat wharves are identified. Show off where you live or visit to your friends and family. And available only at the museum, six inch tall white Watermen’s ceramic boots, including paint and brushes, a great way to create your very own Watermen’s Way Boots. Both of these items are in limited quantities.
The gift shop will be full of holiday decorations and gifts for the entire family. Note cards, posters, journals, puzzles and other museum related items make unique holiday gifts. A silent auction including artisans’ work, posters and other fun pieces will run the first two days of the Marketplace and will end at 4pm on Saturday, Nov 24.
HOLIDAY FASHION SHOW & CHAMPAGNE LUNCH
December 14, 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Landsdowne / 271 Virginia Street, Urbanna, VA 23175
Champagne and style? Sign us up! Sip champagne while local models show you the latest holiday fashion trends from Urbanna’s classiest boutiques: Cyndy’s Bynn, Lowe Tide, ReSail and R.S. Bristow at the beautifully decorated historic Landsdowne home. Lunch is included. Tickets are $25, and available in advance at Fin and Pearl, If Its Wood and More shops in Urbanna and Papeterie and Burke’s Jewelers in Kilmarnock. Tickets at the door/$30. Call (804) 815-3388 with questions. All proceeds go to the Beautification of Urbanna Committee. Learn more.
STEAMBOAT ERA MUSEUM 4TH ANNUAL ANNUAL HOLIDAY MARKETPLACE
December 2, 9 and 16 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Steamboat Era Museum / 156 King Carter Dr, Irvington, VA 22480
You’ll find it hard not to cross a few names off your list at this popular holiday market! More than 20 artisans will feature their work with wood, jewelry, metal, fiber, stain glass and more.You might even find something for your own home or your next great outfit. Learn more.
For the Kiddos
KILMARNOCK TROLLEY EXPRESS
December 1, 2, 7 & 8
Kilmarnock Town Centre Park, 150 N. Main St., Kilmarnock VA
A holiday event for the young and young-at-heart! Inspired by the iconic film and book, “The Polar Express.” The magic of Christmas comes to life when you step onboard the Kilmarnock Trolley and the enchanted journey from the Town Centre Park to the North Pole begins-if you believe. The Trolley Express runs at designated times on these four days. Learn More.
WALK IN THE PARK
December 5, 12, & 19 6:00-8:00 PM
Kilmarnock Town Centre Park, 150 N. Main St., Kilmarnock VA
Bring the grandparents and the kids. Stroll through the park and enjoy the sights and sounds of the holiday season. This is a free event for families to enjoy. Each Wednesday of December an organization from our community will provide treats and some type of holiday activity for your family to take part in. Bring your camera and take pictures with our life size light up decorations and enjoy the park!
URBANNA CHRISTMAS PARADE
December 7, 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Urbanna Firehouse / 330 Virginia Street, Urbanna, VA
Decorated boats, wagons, floats, and Santa will stroll down the streets of Urbanna during this small town holiday tradition. Festivities begin at 4:oo pm at the Urbanna Fire House with music and food. At 6:00 pm Christmas caroling and the lighting of the Festival of Trees at the Town Green (next to the ABC store.) At 7 p.m., the Mayor cuts the ribbon and the old-fashion hometown parade begins! After parade activities, children are invited to visit with Santa at the Firehouse. Learn more.
DELTAVILLE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS
December 1, 2018 – January 1, 20198 5:00 p.m. – 11 p.m.
16598 General Puller Highway, Deltaville
Arouse your Christmas spirit and come see this magical land of lights that’s FREE for all ages. You can drive by, but to get the full essence of all the characters and scenes, we recommend parking and walking around! This amazing light display features more than 130,000 lights! A 36,000-bulb, computer-controlled light show dances to Christmas music throughout the night. As visitors walk through the display, they’ll find numerous lighted scenes, a 20-foot tall walk-in interactive light tree, and a 1,600-square foot light maze. Learn more. For inclement weather closings check Facebook.com/DeltavilleLights/
KILMARNOCK LIGHTED CHRISTMAS PARADE
December 14, 5:30 p.m.- 9 p.m.
Kilmarnock Main Street
Prepare to say “wow!” This is the oldest lighted holiday parade in Virginia and it is loaded with small town charm and pride. During its 39th year, the annual Lighted Christmas Parade in Kilmarnock with kick off with Santa meeting children at the local volunteer fire department at 5:30 p.m. and then more than 100 different lighted floats and performers dazzle down Main Street at 7 p.m. The parade is free and for children of all ages! Learn more.
WHITE STONE WINTER WONDERLAND
December 9, 4 – 8 p.m.
White Stone, VA
The town of White Stone rings in the holiday season with caroling, cheer, food, tree lighting and Santa, who arrives in town with a police and fire department escort. After visiting the dreamy Winter Wonderland, walk down to the White Stone Women’s Club for a bake sale and gift shop, continue walking across to Allure Art Center for a Christmas Open House for cider, cookies and their light display. Free. Learn more.
JINGLE BELL 5K & KIDS FUN RUN
December 15, 9 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Piankatank River Golf Course / 6198 Stormont Road, Hartfield, VA 23071
Fast, slow, old, and young–all are welcome during this festival fitness event. Run, jog, crawl or stroll through the scenic, mixed surface back nine cart paths of the Piankatank River Golf Club. The event offers opportunities for the whole family including a 1-mile fun run, Frosty’s 5K Post-Race Celebration with hot chocolate, popcorn, pizza, holiday cocktails, and Santa! All proceeds will help 1,500 scholarships to the Middlesex County YMCA. Learn more and register on line.
For the Couple
CHRISTMAS IN URBANNA
December 7-8 & 14-15, & 22
The Town of Urbanna / Virginia Street & Cross Street, Urbanna, VA 23175
Kick off December with a healthy dose of the Christmas spirit! So much fun to be had: lighting of the festival of the trees, hometown parade, a pet parade and a historic house tour. While you’re here, shop for distinctive gifts at boutiques, enjoy oysters, brisket and pie from our local restaurants. Leave the stress behind and follow the sound of the Christmas music. Learn more here.
URBANNA CHRISTMAS HOUSE TOUR
December 15, 10:00 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Urbanna United Methodist Church / 221 Marston Ave. Urbanna, VA 23175
Tour 11 beautifully decorated private homes and historic landmarks in small town Urbanna. Three of the sites on the tour date back to the 1700’s. Pick up your $25 tickets at at Cyndy’s Bynn, Lowe Tide, R.S. Bristow’s Store, Fin and Pearl, Burke’s Jewelers or Papeterie. Box lunches are available at the church at check-in. LEARN MORE
“THE HOLLY AND THE IVY”: A TRADITIONAL CAROL SING
December 3, 3:30PM- 5:00 PM
Historic Christ Church, 420 Christ Church Rd, Weems, VA
Celebrate the season at Historic Christ Church & Museum with traditional songs, carols, and music. Join in this seasonal songfest in the beautifully “greened” church. Featuring members of The Chesapeake Chorale and the Christchurch School Cantorion. Dress warmly. Refreshments follow in The Bayne Center.
Fee: Two (2) non-perishable items per person for the Northern Neck Food Bank
JACKSON CREEK CHRISTMAS CRUISE IN DELTAVILLE
December 14, 5:00 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Deltaville Community Center / 17147 General Puller Highway, Deltaville, Virginia 23043
Holidays on the water are enchanting. This festive cruise will make you believe in magic. Spend a 45-minute boat ride taking in the views of holiday decorations of the surrounding waterfront homes as their lights dance on the water. Climb aboard, enjoy homemade cookies and warm cider, and take it all in. Tickets are $10. Learn more here.
CHESAPEAKE BAY WINE TRAIL HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSES
December 8, 2018, All day
Take yourself, your girlfriends or your spouse on a holiday winery adventure! Break out the cozy sweaters and the cameras for photo opps galore. Throughout the day, participating wineries along the Chesapeake Bay Wine Trail will have holiday refreshments, wine and gift specials. Follow their Facebook page for updates leading up to the event. Be sure to stop by Dog & Oyster Vineyard and Goodluck Cellars for some of the best wine around. Learn more.
If you’ve never truly felt the magic during the holidays, then we’re certain you will when you visit us! We hope you enjoy your time with family and friends in Virginia’s River Realm. Happy Holidays from our family to yours.